Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist December2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist December 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd. 5
Healthcare reform is well and truly underway in Australia and will continue.
In the face of this, our profession needs to ensure that it embraces change
and is not left lagging behind and refusing to evolve. It is not an option to
say 'stop we are not ready' or 'it doesn't suit'.
The pharmacist in GP practice model is a
case in point. It represents a new practice
model for our profession and is already
underway both here and overseas.
It is not a matter of stopping it happening.
It has the proven potential to provide
better patient outcomes, professionally
rewarding work and greater professional
collaboration. Why would anyone
consider stopping it?
Rather, it is a matter of ensuring that
whatever model is finally adopted in
Australia the profession gets the model it
wants after having debated and resolved
any issues to best effect, and the public
gets the model that gives it the best
It is natural to be wary of, or perhaps
even fearful of the unknown and change
is always full of unknowns. I know that
many are genuinely concerned that this
model will have a variety of deleterious
consequences for community pharmacy.
However, this model is currently being
practised in New Zealand, Canada, the
collapse of community pharmacy in
Best evidence to hand suggests that
rather than diminish the value of
community pharmacy in patient care,
in fact community pharmacy's role has
Yes there may be some crossover and
duplication of services but this is offset
by new referrals generated by the GP
pharmacist, further collaboration between
the pharmacy and the medical centre and
a deeper involvement in clinical practice.
We already have crossover of services
with hospital pharmacy and this has not
resulted in community pharmacy losing
its ability to provide professional input
Indeed hospital pharmacists and
community pharmacists collaborate
quite well to get a better outcome for the
patient and this can only be a good thing.
PSA expects that based on international
and local experience, some of the benefits
that we would expect to see include:
• Increased uptake of 6CPA-funded
services in local community
pharmacies e.g. MedsChecks, DAAs
and HMRs, as the practice pharmacist
raises awareness of, and creates
referral pathways for these services.
• Increased medication adherence and
new medications dispensed through
community pharmacies for prevention
and management of chronic disease.
This is enabled through the practice
pharmacist identifying at-risk patients.
• Increased referral and communication
between local GP surgeries and
pharmacies -- for services not provided
by practice pharmacists (e.g. for minor
Making change work
for our profession
BY JOE DEMARTE, FPS, NATIONAL PRESIDENT
NATIONAL PRESIDENT SAYS
Of course there are other sticking points.
The payment model appears to be one of
these. Many potential models of payment
could be considered but the payment
model has not yet been determined and
suggestions otherwise are wrong.
PSA's preferred payment model would
involve pharmacists being paid directly
from the MBS for services provided as
are all other healthcare professionals --
except our profession. This is an obvious
advantage that we do not currently enjoy.
As I have said in previous articles,
PSA must necessarily take the broader
view and support proposals that are in
the interests of the overall profession.
The pharmacist in GP practices model
carefully planned and managed to
balance the views and concerns of the
whole profession would be another
rewarding area of practice that would
benefit the broader profession and
importantly, patients - and as I have also
stated previously on many occasions, our
future as a profession is inexorably linked
with the patient outcomes we are able
PSA welcomes debate in order to get the
best overall result possible. This project is
too important to be allowed to develop
into another divisive them and us situation
like the HMR debacle of pharmacy owner
versus accredited pharmacist.
This was damaging to all of us.
Finally, PSA has no intention to divest
community pharmacy of its professional
input. To the contrary, PSA is totally
committed to a stronger commercially
viable community pharmacy model
based on healthcare. Our Health
Destination Model and the financial
commitment we have made to it should
bear testament to this.
At present many in the profession are
forming their views based on emotion
rather than evidence, working on fears
and opinions rather than facts. It would
be better to have more knowledge and to
fill in any gaps in evidence.
A trial should be funded to establish this
and to test any impacts.
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